Liverpool will next face Everton on Wednesday looking to solidify their position of strength in what increasingly looks likely to be a three-team title race in the Premier League.
While the Reds and Manchester City picked up important wins this past weekend, log-leaders Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United. There are now just three log points separating these clubs, who will all swing into mid-week action on Wednesday.
Chelsea (sitting on 30 log points) will take on Watford, Man City (29 log points) face Aston Villa, while Liverpool (28 points) clash with The Toffees, who dwell down in 14th place.
Since the Reds saw their long-standing unbeaten run come to an end against West Ham earlier this month, they have bounced back in some style, scoring 10 goals without reply in the three games that have followed.
Free-scoring Liverpool have now racked up 39 goals in 13 league games this season – having hammered Southampton 4-0 on Saturday – and will be determined to maintain that form at a key stage of their campaign.
And now, as the Reds head into another Merseyside battle, manager Jurgen Klopp has sent out an early warning for his players to be prepared for a physical challenge.
“It’s always a completely different game, so I really very often don’t like the intensity of the game, it’s too much for me,” he told Sky Sports. “I like physical football, I have no problem with that, we play that, other teams play that, but in that game very often people put too much in. I can’t say it’s my favourite game of the year to be honest, because of that.”
The comments, which surely relate to the long-term injuries suffered by Virgil van Dijk and Thiago in last October’s contentious fixture, will ramp up the ante as they head to Goodison Park, where Everton interestingly haven’t won a Merseyside derby fixture since October 2010.
As it is, Everton are currently enduring a miserable run of poor form, with Sunday’s loss to Brentford having seen them go six games without a win, with their last victory in September – a 2-0 home win against Norwich – remaining their only triumph in the last nine games in all competitions.